Updated: May 31, 2022 11:16:04 am
The conviction rate in cases filed under the sedition law (IPC Section 124A), now the subject of an ongoing case in the Supreme Court, has fluctuated between 3% and 33% over the years, and the pendency of such cases in court reached a high of 95% in 2020.
Since 2014, when the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) started compiling data on sedition, 399 sedition cases have been filed across the country, including a high of 93 in 2019, and 73 in 2020.
Incidentally, 2019 is also the year with the lowest conviction rate at 3.3%. According to the NCRB, of the 30 cases in which trial was completed that year, only one resulted in conviction.
The chargesheeting rate of police too has been low. Of 322 cases filed between 2016 and 2020, chargesheets were filed in only 144. As many as 23 cases were found to be false or a mistake of law, and 58 were closed for lack of evidence. Pendency of cases with police rose from 72% in 2016 to 82% in 2020.
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There is no striking trend among states in terms of the number of sedition cases filed. States such as Assam, UP and J&K have registered high numbers of cases recently. States such as Manipur, Bihar, Jharkhand, Karnataka and UP too have registered a high number of cases in some years.
In 2019, when the highest number of sedition cases were registered in the country, Karnataka had the most at 22, followed by Assam (17), J&K (11), Uttar Pradesh (10) and Nagaland (8).
In 2018, Jharkhand witnessed the highest number of sedition cases at 18, followed by Assam (17), J&K (12) and Kerala (9).
In 2017, Assam had the highest number of cases at 19, followed by Haryana (13) and Himachal Pradesh (8). In 2016, Haryana registered the highest number of such cases at 12, followed by Uttar Pradesh at 6.
In 2015, Bihar had the country’s highest with nine cases, followed by West Bengal (4). In 2014, Jharkhand had the highest number of such cases at 18, followed by Bihar (16).
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